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  1. #1901
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    It's kinda funny when you know that one character in The Mirror say that poetry shouldn't be translated.
    "Artistic creation, after all, is not subject to absolute laws, valid from age to age; since it is related to the more general aim of mastery of the world, it has an infinite number of facets, the vincula that connect man with his vital activity; and even if the path towards knowledge is unending, no step that takes man nearer to a full understanding of the meaning of his existence can be too small to count." - Andrey Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time, translated by Kitty Hunter-Blair

    Would that I could read Homer, Calvino or Dostoevsky in their original form! But I have too many books to read, and hardly enough time for even that. For what it's worth, the untranslated poems are included in Cyrillic at the end of the book. Don't forget that The Mirror is about deeply flawed, agonizingly human characters. That's what makes it so powerful.

  2. #1902
    Network Hub TWChristine's Avatar
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    Re-reading 1984, Galapagos, and Crime and Punishment. I spend more time re-reading the books I like than trying new ones, which is a shame.

  3. #1903
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWChristine View Post
    Re-reading 1984, Galapagos, and Crime and Punishment. I spend more time re-reading the books I like than trying new ones, which is a shame.
    Nothing wrong with that, although Brave New World is the FAR superior dystopian future book :p

    Finally got around to reading Gaiman's "American Gods". A very good book with quite an interesting story and it is clear that this has influenced media quite a bit with its portrayal of the gods and what not. That being said, I am probably gonna stick to Gaiman's comics as his prose writing style just doesn't work with me.
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  4. #1904
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Nothing wrong with that, although Brave New World is the FAR superior dystopian future book :p
    Huxley was right. It's hardly even a dystopian book anymore.

  5. #1905
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kelron's Avatar
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    The Nazis kind of killed off the whole eugenics thing, though.

  6. #1906
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabrage View Post
    Huxley was right. It's hardly even a dystopian book anymore.
    Well, they were both right. Huxley has the day to day down, but Orwell does get credit for predicting the impact of the 24-hour news cycle.

    But my point is mostly in terms of writing/being a book. 1984 is a very interesting read, but it always struck me more as propaganda/a manifesto in its writing (VERY anvilicious) whereas Brave New World is actually a story. 1984 is written to make the reader understand and accept Orwell, whereas Brave New World was written to make the reader think and question society.

    Hell, there was a pretty big Reddit thread a few days ago that was a good example. Apparently a LOT of the current generation actually think Brave New World was a utopia and argue for the advantages of the society (and as a socially awkward person, I can understand how someone might leap at the thought of something like soma to act as an easy button) whereas there is also the discussion of what the cost of that is. Whereas anyone who says "You know, The Party had the right idea" will get villified and ignored instantly.

    And honestly: I LOVE that kind of discussion. It actually makes people think and question things rather than just parrot the viewpoints of others.
    Last edited by gundato; 14-01-2014 at 05:21 PM.
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  7. #1907
    Lesser Hivemind Node NecroKnight's Avatar
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    I've just finished reading Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans by Jean-Francois Mattei. It's somewhere between boring and interesting. It's not bad, but seems a bit unstructured.
    Basically, Pythagoras was a genius mathematician but also the leader of a crazy cult that worshiped numbers and geometrical shapes and tried to find the rules of the cosmos in them. Also, according to some legends he meet Buda.
    But where did he come from, this fleck of spite in an abandoned paradise?

  8. #1908
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    I'm reading something about dancing with dragons, by George RR Tolkien. I'm about halfway through and not very many people have died yet. I think this author might have something here; his career will soon take off.
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  9. #1909
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Tikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    I'm reading something about dancing with dragons, by George RR Tolkien. I'm about halfway through and not very many people have died yet. I think this author might have something here; his career will soon take off.
    Review of the year.

  10. #1910
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Well, they were both right. Huxley has the day to day down, but Orwell does get credit for predicting the impact of the 24-hour news cycle.

    But my point is mostly in terms of writing/being a book. 1984 is a very interesting read, but it always struck me more as propaganda/a manifesto in its writing (VERY anvilicious)
    I dunno, in the real world, David Cameron told the UK that we had to have 'permanent austerity' whilst sitting on a golden chair at a banquet. The US sided with the taliban against the soviet union and then invaded afghanistan because it didn't like the taliban any more all whilst pretending they'd always hated them, and we've just found out the NSA has been keeping records of all digital communication made by absolutely everyone, and is trying to arrest the whistleblower whilst the courts huff and puff about it being legal and constitutional anyway. 1984 is inaccurate in one significant way - the dictators don't need room 101 and the 2 minute hate and purging inconvenient facts from the historical record, there's far cleaner and nicer and more pleasant ways of ensuring the same thing.

  11. #1911
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    I dunno, in the real world, David Cameron told the UK that we had to have 'permanent austerity' whilst sitting on a golden chair at a banquet. The US sided with the taliban against the soviet union and then invaded afghanistan because it didn't like the taliban any more all whilst pretending they'd always hated them, and we've just found out the NSA has been keeping records of all digital communication made by absolutely everyone, and is trying to arrest the whistleblower whilst the courts huff and puff about it being legal and constitutional anyway. 1984 is inaccurate in one significant way - the dictators don't need room 101 and the 2 minute hate and purging inconvenient facts from the historical record, there's far cleaner and nicer and more pleasant ways of ensuring the same thing.
    Yeah, that is what I was getting at. You don't need too much infrastructure when you have goldfish memories and the latest "trusted" political pundit telling people who we need to care about and defend and who we should ignore and leave to die. And it is fun when the former becomes the latter overnight
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  12. #1912
    Network Hub Koobazaur's Avatar
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    Just started on Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, a steampunk-ish alternate history Seattle. Only 40 pages in but so far, pretty interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    But my point is mostly in terms of writing/being a book. 1984 is a very interesting read, but it always struck me more as propaganda/a manifesto in its writing (VERY anvilicious) whereas Brave New World is actually a story. 1984 is written to make the reader understand and accept Orwell, whereas Brave New World was written to make the reader think and question society.
    Aye, I like Brave New World way more than 1984. My issue with the latter was that it was just overdone, you couldn't read a paragraph without the words "doom and gloom" in it. After a while it just gets tedious to plow through it.
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  13. #1913
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    I started reading Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson. I am just under half way through, but not all that much has happened, and it's all went very quickly. I'm enjoying it enough so far, but it's no Alloy of Law. We'll see if it improves once it all kicks off - it certainly feels like it's simmering towards a point, and well, I've read Sanderson books before. I know how they go.

  14. #1914
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    Ruth Ozeki's 'A tale for the time being' because someone said it's similar to Murakami's work and I love his work.
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  15. #1915
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koobazaur View Post
    Just started on Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, a steampunk-ish alternate history Seattle. Only 40 pages in but so far, pretty interesting.
    Quite liked Boneshaker, though in the end I felt it was a little too... of its genre? to really wow me. Hard to name specifics without spoiling things and it's been a while since I read it anyway, but there were a few too many story developments and bits of worldbuilding etc. that felt as if they were in there because alt-history steampunk had to have these things, not because the narrative had any great need of them. I enjoyed it, but I still haven't bought any of the rest of her books and I'm not in any hurry to. It was good, IMO, but not a patch on - say - Lavie Tidhar's Bookman series, or Chris Wooding's Tales of the Ketty Jay.

  16. #1916
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Picked up a copy of S by JJ Abrams & Doug Dorst which is this sort of hardback novel come mystery book: -



    Wasn't cheap (30 from Waterstones), but I had some vouchers from Christmas to spend and figured it was worth a shot, and something memorable. Haven't gotten very far into it (I'm going to read the story first, then read the notes afterwards to piece it all together), but the production values on it are really high.
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  17. #1917
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Golden Rules of Building a Quality Country: Suggestion to Political Leaders by Ohmae Kenichi

    In Chinese (most Japanese names can be interpreted directly by the Chinese words), the name refers to "studying to leap forward". I don't think this is his real name, but anyway. He declares himself to be an economist. He in deed has a PhD degree, but the degree is in engineering. In fact, he is the kinda person you westerners refer to as business coach. He is famous for popularizing the discussions over the economic phenomenon of "M society", which according to his information, was first studied by an American economist of whom the name I cannot recall. Mr. Ohmae tried to convince us that the destruction of middle class in eastern societies we are witnessing and suffering is in fact not unique to the east. It occured in the west, and the western governments and their subjects successfully lived with it. So, if our leaders make it right, we should be able to live through it, too.

    So this book as the title stated, is about how countries should reform to adapt to the new era in which qualities of goods are again demanded. And to generate this quality of goods sustainably, the people of the country have to be of high standard in the first place, thus building a quality country, and then subsequently recruit all talents and capitals from all over the world. He warned that Japan in the first place is falling behind, but it is never too late to catch up. I just started to read it, Mr. Ohmae highly admired Swiss as the country in the world with the highest quality.

    Of course, the book I am reading is Chinese translation, but as you can see here, many of his works have been translated in English, so I guess I can recommend this first and see when it would be translated in English as well.
    Last edited by squirrel; 19-01-2014 at 08:59 AM.

  18. #1918
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    I just finished The Humans, by Matt Haig. Life-affirming is a horrible cliche, but I think it really suits this book. A simultaneously small and huge story. The author seemed to have a real understanding of what makes us human. From an English perspective, anyway.

  19. #1919
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    The Fatal Equilibrium by Marshall Jevons, Chinese translation I bought from a second hand bookstore in Hong Kong yesterday after work (it sells only Chinese materials, so don't bother, it's somewhere between North Point and Wanchai but I don't know how to state its exact address). Generally I prefer English original text but this novel is quite old that I have been unable to locate a copy for a while, and this second-hand book is not expensive, so I just bought it. It's about a murder case and an economist was trying to solve it using Economics. The story started as a young and brilliant economist who committed suicide after his nomination to a tenure was rejected. However, first thing first he should have other choice, that such a minor setback should not be enough to force him into desperation. Then, two members of the nomination committee were murdered, too. This mean the case was very likely a homicide.

  20. #1920
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikey View Post
    Review of the year.
    Just finished it. I may have to reconsider my summation, at least the part regarding deaths. Yeesh.
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